Not updated this thing for ages

So let’s have some random waffle and odd pictures I had kicking around. And then a bunch of separate posts on various things that deserve to be singled out.

First, it’s DOWNLOAD! But I ain’t there, though looking at the virtually non-stop rain we’ve had since Wednesday I’m kinda glad. Though I am missing Nightwish, Anti-Nowhere League and various other great bands.


A pic from about 10:58, there’s probably no band on

That said the rain did stop at about 2:00 in the afternoon today (at least in Cambridgeshire). It was not exactly hot, but not cold, and the wind was very strong. If those conditions persist in Donington it might “blow dry” the ground and make it nice and soft, but not muddy. Ideal if you ask me, people will bounce if they fall over in a pit XD. Also the one bad memory of every Download I have been to is sore feet, from walking too far / on rock-hard, baked mud.

I saw this the other day:

The mention of Argentine comics about the Falklands War got me interested. I’m interested in the history of the comics of all nations, and a look at “the other side” ought to be interesting. I’d also love to see Japanese comics from during World War 2 and German story-papers from the 1890’s – 1918. Unfortunately both of those countries lost the respective wars and have now taken on a more pacifist viewpoint, preferring to act as if the “imperialist propaganda” in their comics of the time never happened.  Indeed, many histories of Japanese comics jump straight from the Ponchi-e of the 1850’s to Sazae-san and Osamu Tezuka in the late 1940’s, ignoring everything in between!


Take this the next time you go to a talk about manga.

British comics have hardly mentioned the Falklands either. Apparently Battle (by then probably the shitty, ruined Battle Action Force version) did a story about the war while it was happening, but set it in the future, and made the enemies some sort of weird terrorist force. Commando did 2-3 stories about it in the early 90’s (reprinted circa 2009/10), but they were mainly about the lives of SAS soldiers, and the action they saw in the Falklands was only part of the story.

More recently Commando did two more Falklands stories, though only one was set in the actual war (feuding RAF brothers, one a Harrier pilot, the other a Sea King pilot). The other was again about the SAS, this time on a secret mission in mainland Argentina. They discover a crazed fanatic (at a time when the country was ruled by fanatics and murdering it’s own people left, right and centre) working on a biological weapon and have to arrange for the base to be bombed. In real life the Port Stanley airport was stretching the range of Vulcan bombers, let alone going any further!


Some cakes

If only there was some small presser doing a patriotic, jingoistic adventure comic, who could produce the definitive comic version, eh?

Oh yeah, on the subject of Commando, it’s recently upgraded it’s paper quality enormously, and has reached issue 4500. I trust you are all doing your bit to help it on the way to issue 5000? Well somebody must be, a new “batch” comes out roughly every 2 weeks, but if you don’t get to them on the ‘first weekend’ (and sometimes even that’s too late) you might not get the full four. For a while I thought this was because WH Smith’s staff were idiots and not putting enough of them out. But the varying numbers lead me to another explanation. They are selling out! A Boys’ Own war comic, in 2012!


A cute girl



Only certain people will get this

Mind you, I do have a couple of “promising” friendships at the moment. I had more, but they were far out of my league and I’d better not delude myself. My first crush, who is still single and still beautiful, was liking my Facebook updates an awful lot. Then I hinted at a possible date and she switched off – that was a wake-up call XD.

Other recent things have included Camcon, cambridge’s “first” comic / anime / nerdy stuff convention… apart from 3-4 in the 80’s (including another one also called Camcon, but run by completely different people. The current crew were babies then XD). It was pretty good, and sold out. Plans for expansion are already being made. I hope to become one of the “moving spirits” of the convention, with my Union Jack-bedecked table welcoming people year on year.


Hopefully with increasing numbers of comics. And neighbours who turn up.

I also had an idea to hand-animate a Julian and Sandy sketch advertising the next one. Anybody want to voice act? I need an RP-speaker and a raving queen. I will of course play the other raving queen XD.

I also went to the ‘rather’ bigger MCM Expo in London. This is held twice a year (there’s also other MCM’s in Birmingham, Manchester and, er, Telford) and gets 60,000 people through the doors. It’s in the gigantic Excel centre, though the convention proper only occupies one ‘room’ of the building. The forums are always full of complaints about overcrowding, things are going to reach a crunch point soon, I reckon. The qeue for convention tickets uses another room, which is left half empty. I don’t know why they can’t put some stands in there too, to open things out a bit.


The hallway in the middle of the Excel Centre

Mind you, the MCM forums are always full of complaints about free huggers and the (hilarious) Yaoi Guy. Miserable fuckers.

I’m going to be going to an anime convention on the 30th, even though I don’t really like anime, my favourite one is 5 minutes long. Oh well, I can meet some interesting people and maybe obtain some more ‘promising friendships’ XD. Also it’s in London so I could slope off to the Japan Centre or Gosh. Probably the latter as I’m about ready to give up on Japanese and switch to learning a language that will be both easier and more useful to me.


I think you know what I’m talking about

There was probably more, but I’ve just hit that sudden tiredness wall. Plenty to do tomor-erm-later today, including getting the latest Commando comics, trying to find this Falklands conference (if it’s even open to the public) and of course checking out the Cambridge University Anthropology Museum, which has recently been re-opened and apparently contains examples of art and design down the ages, from 40,000 years ago to may 2012 XD. I doubt there’s many comics, mind you.


Only certain people will get this

BUT I’ll also get a Euromillions ticket. If I won a gigantic prize on that I’d create a huge and truly international comic museum. The “International Manga Museum” in Kyoto sounds more like a big reference library for Japanese comics, with a small ‘exhibit’ of pages stuck on a wall (Okay, maybe I will go to Japan once more, to see that museum… and the Mikasa… and Jinbocho…).

My museum would have vast wings dedicated to each continent, with bigger or smaller galleries depending on the comic output of each nation. Japan and Britain would of course have huge ones XD. They’d also treat each country’s evolving comic culture on it’s own merits. The Magnet and Hokusai Manga were not picture-strip “comics”, but both played thier own part in thier respective country’s comic development. I’d also give cave paintings, hieroglyphics, early Chinese writing and The Bayeux Tapestry their dues!

The new year

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Last sunset of 2011

I was magnificently lazy over the Christmas holidays, I just sat about eating chocolate and writing short half-arsed reviews of a bunch of small press comics for a magazine. Oh wait, that’s bad! I meant to do a heap of comic drawing, including finishing off my ill-fated manga for a competition the Japanese embassy was running. I’d failed to get it even near finished before that closed, but I hoped to get it finished by tomorrow for inclusion in the next “issue of” (it’s no longer a ‘regular’ comic) Non Repro. But won’t finish it in time for that either now.

The reason? Sherlock! Yes the BBC finally got off their arses and made another three (three! When are we getting a proper series?) episodes of this. And BY GOD are they awesome. The first one was shown on New Year’s day and the second last night. The second was based on the Hound of the Baskervilles… except now “Baskerville” is a secret bio-weapons research facility. You can see where this is going… except it doesn’t go there, actually XD.

Speaking of Sherlock Holmes the latest Hollywood film is incredible too. It’s 2 and a half hours long mind you. But actually there’s only 8 minutes of story and the rest is filled up by slow motion (troof). Still it’s incredible, even if some anachronisms annoyed me… no, his car is not one of them! But the fact there’s nobody walking in front of it with a red flag is. Mind you though, Sir Conan Doyle never liked Sherlock Holmes using motor vehicles, and still had his hero riding around in horse-drawn cabs even after he’d bought a motorcycle. Of course Sexton Blake’s writers had no such qualms, and a motor-car featured in those stories as early as 1898. Later he was thundering around in a Mors car at thirty miles in the hour!

An even more annoying anachronism (to me), though, is the fact that they got the German flag wrong! Germany wasn’t using that flag in 1891 (though had used it earlier), they were using a Black-White-Red tricolour up to 1918. Mind you though, “The First World War in Colour” managed to get it wrong too. As did an old docudrama about the early days of Albert Einstein.


My 2011 Calendar, from Sweatdrop Studios. It kind of sums up the person I was in 2011, very interested in Japan to the point of considering moving there and even becoming a naturalised citizen (eventually). I was working diligently on learning the language and spending hours reading blogs by foreigners who had gone to live there.

I was also giving vague thought to converting myself to drawing manga style, in the vague hopes of “doing a Bakuman” once I was naturalised. But then my girlfriend dumped me in November, and in December I found myself constantly saying “Nanaji” for Seven O Clock, when it ought to be “Shichiji”. Also I read a load of Debito (though a lot of it “through the filter” of Tepido). I still think he’s bonkers and his followers a bunch of commie shitstabbers. But you can’t argue with clear cases of shitty policing, insane working hours with no recognition and GIANT FUCKIN’ INSECTS. If I never set foot in neon hell again, it’ll be too soon!

On to the 2012 Calendar, then…


Yep, that sums up the kind of person I want to be in 2012, the same person I was in 2006! I’m getting the Mini on the road no matter what and waking the echoes of a July afternoon out in the fens (without going over 50 XD). I’m also doing Download and as many local rock/metal/blues/ska gigs as I can cram in. Oh I’ll be collecting more antique comics rather than horror movies though. (Bring back Silverscreen! Those shops were great). Starting with this…

 eleb05.jpg – eleb06.jpg – eleb07.jpg

It’s 6 months worth of The Boys’ Friend (aka the best British comic ever) from mid 1904. I got lucky on this one, nobody else bid and It went for £50! I was expecting to pay over £100. Maybe the low price was because it’s January. Anybody else out there wanting to sell bound volumes of the Boys’ Friend/Realm/Herald, Union Jack, (Halfpenny) Marvel or Skipper please do it right now or wait until Jan ’13 eh?

Boys Friend Price fluctuations…

Complete year 1903 – 04 – £49.99 (Was “pickup only” and BIN, I cheekily offered to pay extra postage and the seller agreed, bargain!)

Complete year 1902 – 03 – £170 (! And I had to drive down to Enfield to get it. Well worth it though! they look great on the shelf)

Half year Jan-Jun 1910 – £110 (great condition)

Half year May – Nov 1904 – £49.99 (woohoo)

Plus loads of individual issues at about a fiver each. Anybody out there got any they want to unload?


Other crap I can’t be bothered to write at length about…

– Helicopter crash! I saw it fly over my work, it seemed to be ‘skidding’ in the air and the wind was really strong that day. It exploded near Ely and crashed into a field

– The strong wind! Part of our fence blew down. A panel of fence at work somehow not only blew down but ‘jumped over’ a big wheelie bin.

– The Pheonix, and it’s dire distribution:

–  Despite the lazy last days of 2011 work is going ‘decently’ on comic for 2012. I hope to do at least 6 issues of the Red, White & Blue, 3 of the The Trident, 2 of The Sentinel (a ‘red top’ for comic collectors) and 1 of the Small Press Digest (encouragement-filled magazine with yellow covers). I’ve got a table at Camcon in May, seemingly the first nerdy convention in Cambridge for many a year (possibly since the Old Boys’ Book Club met there!). Gonna be great! Also got a ‘premeet’ in April.


The coolest thing I bought today

What do you think it was? A Hook Jaw poster?


Yeah that’s pretty cool but not what I was going for. What about the comic the poster came in?


That’s also cool (and overdue XD). But again not what I was looking for. What about a girl’s annual from 1940 in fantastic condition?


That’s closer, and I will be able to use it and a similarly aged and conditoned Champion annual for a wartime themed blog post. But no that wasn’t it, it was this…


Based on the title alone that book must be as manly as a long-haired, bearded lumberjack sitting on a Harley at the bottom of mine shaft smoking a cigar, drinking Jack and loading a magnum.

Recent stuff

I can’t be bothered with any pictures.

Update: Okay, here’s two.

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I broke up with my girlfriend of 2 and a half years a couple of weeks ago. But wasn’t really affected as i’d seen it coming for months. Mainly since July when she asked me not to text her so often.

There’s several other girls and one guy that I like around me at the moment, of different hopefulness levels. One of them is so beautiful I can hardly bear to look directly at her *-* but that clearly won’t happen because things like that don’t happen to me.

Also re-applying for the JET programme. It was all a bit last-minute. In fact I posted my paperwork after the online applications had closed. Initially I panicked because I hadn’t downloaded the PDF of the filled-in application form, but after ringing them I discovered it would be made available even after the online applications had been shut down. Now I have to wait for the postcard to be returned (ought to be in the next week or two) and then see if I have an interview or not (ought to find out in Jan/Feb).

I had a very cool dream the other night that I may turn into a story and write up on here.

Issue 2 of the newest British adventure comic, Strip Magazine, is out tomorrow. I’m going to go into Cambridge to get it on Saturday. Forbidden Planet stocked issue 1 and sold out of it, but I’m not absolutely confident they will bother to stock issue 2 (the first issue had an article about them in it). Bakuman book 8 also comes out tomorrow, they WILL stock that, but if they don’t have Strip Magazine I won’t get either from them… or anything else!

Other bits

Another ISO experiment, this time on the sunset reflecting on some passing clouds…


Also on my comic blog I recently posted an opinion piece about why “manga” is not some magic potion that will “save” British comics. A few days later I was looking through a 90’s Beano and discovered that actually, format wise, there had been a “British manga” – called Graffix! Shame nobody took the slighest bit of notice.

Graffix books aren’t drawn in the big-eyed, small nosed style and loaded with sound effects (including for things that don’t even have sounds, such as the fact a room is messy). They also have loads of “wall of text” captions so that the blurb can claim that it’s “part book, part comic!”. Of course those of us in on the joke know that proper British adventure comics always had big wall of text captions!

Anyway, these books cost me 1p each, and £2.80 delivery… each! Talk about being stung. I even dilligently ordered them all from the same seller (a reseller on Amazon, not Ebay) in the hope of a discounted delivery. They all came in one package, and with delivery costs worked out at around £44!


I bet this didn’t cost £44 to post!

In other news it’s been stupidly hot for the past two days, after a very mild summer with very few truly hot days. Still having the heat now means we don’t get swarms of those tiny black insects that walk all over you!

Also my granny came to live here (in some extra rooms we built on the back of the house) just under 2 weeks ago.

Also things are going “maybe” with my girlfriend. She hasn’t texted me or sent internet messages or anything since July, and only answers the phone every other time I ring, but when she does answer it she acts like the relationship is still the same as it always was and this is just a matter of course @_@. It’s very confusing and I’m not sure how much longer my patience will last. If another (very!) kawaii girl or guy came to me I’d probably get with them, in the current state of things. Especially if they lived closer than two continents away.

Britain’s Yasukuni, or That Commando Exhibition

It seems everybody who goes to Japan for long enough goes native, buys a fancy camera and loads of lenses and starts spouting photographic jargon. If I ever get like that once I’ve gone to Japan can somebody just smack me around the head and say “The amount your’e spending on this snapper could buy you a Hindustan Ambassador!”. Ta.

Anyway, having discovered that “ISO” means “How much it can take pictures of dark stuff” I decided to try and capture the glow of a distant town last night. Until recently some houses being built over the back were left lit up at night, which would have made a good photo. However they abruptly started work on them again and now turn all the lights off at night.


Only resized, no contrast fiddlin’

Also I took a pic of some nearby houses, didn’t work as well.


Anyway, After that I went to sleep and woke up fairly late. It was time to see the Commando exhibtion!


Captain Darkie commands it!

I drove down to Ely and got the train into London, which cost £25.50! And that was the “non peak time” one. I bet travelling the same distance from out of Tokyo (well Tokyo proper, you’d probably still be in greater Tokyo) to see the Yasukuni Shrine would be no more than ¥1000, which is currently all of £8.07!


That place that caught fire on the day of one comic convention and made me late!

Anyway I got to London and through the tube OK (another £5 -_- going a few stops around the Yamanote line would be about ¥300 at the most) then came out among some very fancy and pretty streets.


With hazy dust from one being-worked-on house.

Then walked a long way past the Royal Chelsea Hospital (presumably where the Queen goes when she’s ill and that) and finally saw this:



The museum doesn’t really look much from the outside but is deceptively huge inside! Also the “round the side” entrance seen in the Commando issue “The Mystery and the Museum” (which is also on sale in the museum’s shop!) is present and correct.


There’s also a cannon for kids to jump around screaming “FIRE!”

The Commando exhibition itself is, ahem, not very big. After you clamber up the stairs past Cavaliers, Roundheads, Boer war soldiers and National Servicemen you arrive outside it. I began to snap a few pictures while there was nobody around…


The first issue with it’s original cover art! DC Thomson keep their original art so that any reprints can be top-quality. AP/IPC/Fleetway/Egmont threw almost all of theirs away, even Dan Dare and other legendary stories!


Commando’s main competitors from IPC. If you ask me the earlier issues of War Picture Library were as well-written as the best Commandos, But at it’s height WPL was producing 12 issues a month, all in a samey “house style” and with poor printing, the quality really suffered!


An oddly-chosen competitor to DCT’s Victor. Battle started as an awesome comic, but this version was a shitty toy catalogue with stories. The explanations around the exhibition actually mentioned that sales plummeted when that happened! DCT gloating?


Some Commando gear, a silenced Sten gun and the famous knife!




A painting of the Saint Nazaire raid, the finest hour of the Commandos, which crippled the German navy’s most powerful ships without even going near them! The story is told in the newest Victor compliation book.

Anyway, after that some tiny guy told me not to take photos. Oops. That blue light on the painting above couldn’t be seen normally, I suppose it’s something that only shows up on CCD’s. They could have made it into big “DON’T TAKE PHOTOS!” writing right across the painting XD.

Anyway the rest of the exhibition (which is not actually that big) was mainly several exciting original paintings for covers old and new. The artwork is beautiful close up, and there’s also descriptions of what happens in the stories. I’ll be re-reading a few! Disappointingly there’s almost no original interior art on display, I’d love to see some Jose Maria Jorge work close-up.

There’s a few other things, though, including the transparencies with the Commando logo on, or else story titles for covers (these are all now done with computers, of course). There’s also the transparency for the famous Commando knife that separates the “partial wraparound” artwork from the story description on the back covers.

Anyway after seeing that I looked at a few other sections around the museum. There’s one for various wars Britain has been involved in since the end of the empire, including the Falklands (the British and Argentine soldiers had almost the same rifle!) and the Troubles in Northern Ireland (some horrifying footage of vicious rioting on display – it looks like Israel! But was happening in my own country, some of it during my lifetime!).

On the floor below is WW1 up to the Indian Partition (featured in my own comic strip Tigers of Punjab), with National Service on the stairs and Korea in another room. In the World War 2 section I found some Japanese guns and took a reference picture for Tigers of Punjab (why do they have Japanese weapons? Wait for part 5!). Then the same guy from before came and told me not to take pictures of anything! I had thought it was just in case flashes damaged the Commando artwork. Oh well, he looked like he could have been a Gurkha, and I didn’t want a Kukri where the sun don’t shine, so I stopped XD


The “tatami” floor is a nice touch. Oh well I can use Darkie’s Mob and Commando comics for my references!

In the museum shop there’s a GIANT book on sale (apparently coming to normal shops in October) about the history of Commando.



There’s a mix of information about the history of Commando, the artists and writers and other stuff. There’s also six reprinted stories, printed two pages on every one page of book at around the original Commando size. The covers are also included, in colour!


Jay em Gee

The feature pages are also accompanied by montages of elements from famous covers, which look fantastic


And also the reprinted stories are introduced with spectacular blow-ups of the cover art, all on glorious thick matte paper!


I have this story from when it was reprinted in 2008 or so, but It’s great so I’ll read it again!

Yasukuni Shrine

I’ve wasted two weekends worth of comic making time reading this huge blog somebody’s written about Japan. Anyway near the end (or the start, as it was furthest back) he did the usual waffle about the Yasukuni shrine and enshrined war criminals.


It actually looks different to most big shrines which all kind of blur into one after a while

There seems to be plenty of nonsense talked about how they have enshrined war criminals, as if they’re proud of what those criminals did and now “worship” them. Well actually Yasukuni is a place where all dead Japanese soldiers are enshrined, stretching right back to the time when “Japan” first existed. Plus in Japan they enshrine fuckin’ everything. In fact some famous characters of Japanese history or legend are enshrined in more than one place!

Then there’s the regular controversy about Japanese politicians paying their respects at the shrine. But why is it controversial exactly? Shouldn’t they remember their country’s dead? “Bcoz Japan did war crimez OMG” goes the cry. Well actually every country has “done war crimes” and other such atrocities. There’s places in Britain where the heroes of the empire such as General Gordon are “enshrined”, and the empire did some horrific things. And beleive me, coming from a pro-empire jingoist such as myself that admission means something!

Another complaint is that a nearby museum presents Pearl Harbour as a “pre-emptive attack against percieved US imperialism”. Er, well…. wasn’t it? People also complain about the museum presenting the Japanese view of the “Greater East Asian Co-prosperity Sphere” (apparently “Japanese Empire” was too short) as a “uniting” of asian countries under one government. Various atrocities and massacres took place in the creation of this… but did not various massacres and atrocities take place in the creation of the United States? Was not modern Scotland created by throwing out most of the people who lived in the nice looking bits? Let him who is without sin cast the first stone. And being “a long time ago” doesn’t make atrocities “better”.

But murders, bloodshed and inhumanity go hand in hand with war and empire building, and they always will. “Celebration” of such things comes in with the remembering of the individual soldiers involved, who went to do their duty and had to suffer terrifying conditions – with many making the ultimate sacrifice for the cause they believed in.  That is what the Yasukuni Shrine is really about, and that is also the call made in this issue of my favourite comic:


Apparently still on sale at the museum!

The museum in question is the National Army Museum in London – one of Britain’s own “Yasukuni Shrines”. It’s also currently running an exhibition of original Commando artwork called “Draw Your Weapons”. I have the day off work tomorrow, and really ought to be saving money and drawing my own comics (currently working on a futuristic war story, actually). But what the hell…


Let’s go!

Also anybody who opposes the sex shop in Sawtry is a cowardly traitor.

Huge comic haul!

Today I went into Cambridge intending to get the latest 4 Commando’s, the latest Bakuman and any Graffix books from the 90’s I could find in charity shops. Oh and maybe watch Captain America.

I actually got the latest Bakuman, A couple of reprint books of romantic picture libraries from the 50’s,  Tiger Annual and… 200 weekly comics!



There’s about 50 Wizards from the 1970’s (when it was a picture-story comic with only a few text stories, rather than the other way around!). A lot of issues from between 5 and 98, and then most of 1974. The same amount again of Tiger from the 70’s and 80’s and then probably over 100 issues of Roy of the Rovers from the 80’s, including the famous “Roy Race Shot!” issue. And it’s not the Guardian reprint either. There’s also seemingly a few more Tigers mixed in that pile (only had the Wizards out so far. Need to get some boxes!)

The total for that little lot?  £30! I got them in a pawn shop, then took the bus back out of the city and drove back in to pick the stuff up from the rear of the shop. However I misjudged my distance / the bloke’s directions and stood ringing the non-working doorbell on an old lockup for about 45 minutes. An old lady had told me “They’ll ignore the bell!” and I took the statement at face value, assuming that the shop was too busy for anybody to come out. However crammed in a narrow gap next to the lockup was a house occupied by yanks. One of these came out and told me the back door of the pawn shop was actually in a much-newer looking building next door! So I rang that bell and was “served” within seconds. I’ll know for next time XD

Got this yisty


The Secret Battleplane by Percy F Westerman

It’s “A Westerman”, there was actually two Westerman’s (Westermen?) who I think were father and son. I’ve read one other story by them which was wicked, so I’m looking forward to starting this one.

The cover, though… A fish-shaped aeroplane with flapping wings? It’s derived from the plate inside:


Flapping wings I tells yer! And isn’t that rear gun rather badly positioned?

Of course, this was published in the 1890’s or early 1900’s right? Before aeroplanes were invented? Surely we can forgive them a slip like that?

Well, no, because the story was actually first published in 1916! And this edition is from 1932. The 1932 edition apparently had “minor alterations”, but apparently the elephant in the room was overlooked. What where these minor alterations, why it appears to have been a “remember this book is a product of it’s time and contains language you may find offensive” disclaimer. In 1932!


It’s political correctness gone mad!

Also today I took delivery of 11 issues of the 1970’s girl’s comic Jinty.


 because that’s how I roll.

Some of the stories have great writing, featuring a mysterious family moving next door to a girl and keeping their daughter prisoner to experiment on her, for instance. Also a down-to-earth skater girl from Australia moving in with her snooty English cousin. “Daddy’s got a new S-registration car! How wonderful!” XD

It’s just a shame that such stories were segregated into “girls” and “boys” comics back then. (Also the girl’s comics seem to have got the worst of the artists, there’s a general “can’t be arsed” air running through most of the stories). Of course in these enlightened times such things have moved on from that Victorian mentality… oh wait, actually it’s not a Victorian mentality because in the 1890’s papers such as Halfpenny Marvel and Union Jack were intended to be read by both sexes (though to be fair the “girlyness” often went no further than a love interest who is seen at the start of the story, gets totally ignored and then pops up at the end to marry the hero). Also the heroines of girl’s story papers of the 20’s and 30’s could kick the asses of the characters of the 60’s and 70’s… whilst hanging off the running board of a speeding car and shooting a Tommy gun.

Not that you’ll hear about any of that in revisionist “the further back you go the worse it was” articles written about these sorts of papers in The Guardian by somebody who has never actually read one.

Dubs At The Hall 2011

On Saturday I went to a car show called Dubs At The Hall, at Holt Hall in Norfolk. Unfortunately I missed the actual “car show” part as that was on Sunday, and I had something way cooler to do that day (pics tomorrow, hopefully). But there was still a few things to see, and the village of Holt itself was very nice.

But before that…


Asahi Beer? Now I like superdry as much as the next vomiting salaryman on a train, but I’m pretty sure the last time I had it was, er, the last time I was in Japan!


What’s the date on it? Eh? Today??


What I’d actually bought. Fail.

Anyway after waking myself up I started off on the drive to Holt. Encountering around Ely bypass a black van with Ely Folk Festival advertised on it in chalk(!). The driver of the van thought that it was the correct procedure to slam the brakes on when exiting a roundabout, and to suddenly brake heavily, lurch around a corner and then indicate. I will not, of course, be going to Ely Folk Festival after a display like that.

Anyway, my planned route to Holt had been two roads, but my dad suggested a more “diagonal” route. Knowing my own amazing abilities to get lost even on straight roads I wasn’t expecting much, but amazingly I found my way to Holt ok! I’d not written any directions for where to go when I reached the village, because “the show’s bound to be signposted”.


Well OK there was a banner advertising the show itself on a roundabout, which gave the dates, which was really fackin helpful. After a lot of circling about the lanes of the village…

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Which is very pretty


No matter where I turned I kept ending up back here. It was like something from The Prisoner!

I finally, by PURE LUCK and a lot of turnings down winding residential streets that weren’t on maps, found my way to the show! After parking I walked into the show proper, through a nice path in a pretty forest.


The sound of cover bands and aircooled fours lures me on!

 I was finally there. And discovered that it was in fact tiny. I was kind of expecting several large fields of row after row of custom bugs, Golfs and vans! Oh well. Let’s make the best of it.

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A rat Polo. There’s two kinds of “rat”, the proper kind – as in that evil Viva/Firenza in PPC several years back, and “Chav rat”, which is one rusty panel and a load of stickers. This car manages to be in the middle!

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Those were the various VW’s in the “show area”. However the show was actually stolen by a mighty Buick! It looked like the villain’s car from a comic!

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I took a turn around the rest of the interesting things at the show, and had some food. Then it was time to leave.

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The campsite and car park also had some interesting vehicles in them, I took pictures of a few as a substitute for the small showing at the, er, show!

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Why yes people were camping in the shed caravan!

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After leaving I decided to have a look around Holt itself. The village is beautiful! Very clean and well-maintained, it also has good roads, lots of parking and a load of small, non-chain shops. It was like stepping back in time 60 years! Except of course the people weren’t as well dressed and all the cars were modern ugly bloaters.

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Well, most of them.

I found a book shop that was full of crammed, haphazard rooms – just the way I like it! I went to the children’s section and got a few good ‘uns. I realised later that I ought to have looked for a crime section, and the attendant (maybe) Blakiana within. Oh well. I also got a 1984 Eagle Annual from another shop.


The green book is by Charles Hamilton (aka Frank Richards) – the 20th century’s Shakespeare!

In all a pretty profitable trip :3